The Nature of the Big Sky
“Pull, Nathan, Pull! Reel it in! You can do it!” My mother stood beside me, cheering me on as I tugged, reeled, and heaved with all my five-year old might. “I got it”, I blurted out in joy. I had finally caught a fish, all five inches and twelve ounces that is. Pride welled up inside of me my face shined like the radiant sun twinkling in the stream. A truly sublime moment. We were up at the family cabin in Lincoln, Montana and it was typical pristine day in the wild. The weather was temperate, the creek rushing with a plethora of trout, the pine trees swaying in the cool autumn breeze, and the placid blue sky blanketing the horizon peak to peak seemed bigger than ever—staying true to its name. For me, nature has always been my Neverland. A Utopia where I can rest, relax, and even do a little spiritual soul searching, all without the burdens and bondage of reality.
Whether it’s catching a fish, hiking a mountain, or just enjoying the scenery, nature relieves mind and body. The sound of water flowing through a rocky stream and a Meadowlark singing its song pleases the ear. Indian paint brushes and lady slippers paint the creekside a firey-pink while their tendrils of aroma fill the air. The simplicity and solitude of knowing the closet civilization is miles away, sends a shiver up the spine. Every year, when I return to the cabin, my woes and worries are eased by these majestic beauties. Stress and anxiety are alleviated and non-existent in this utopia. Sometimes, when I gaze in wonder at the nature surrounding me, I try to take a photograph with my mind and blinking eyelids. Then, on days of toil and turmoil, I close my eyes and try to imagine myself in that serene scene thousands of miles away. The idea alone provides solace and mitigates my stress.
In the wild I can find solitariness to ponder destiny and renew my faith. The mountains and trees of seem to have divine powers. Broad and powerful, the mountains remind me of my infinitesimal and inferior existence to the world around me and the God above. The towering pine trees, old and wise, whisper to one another when the wind blows through them. Every summer, when I go up to the cabin, I listen to the trees whisper and learn from their wisdom. I meditate on life’s biggest questions. Where am I going? What am I doing here? The trees respond to me in their subtleties. Hiking to the top of the mountain pass may be physically rigorous, but it is also a spiritual journey. On top of the mountain, the horizon seems endless. I feel so close to God that I wonder if it is His breath that blows through my hair. With His masterpiece all around me, my soul is rejuvenated.
Ultimately, the cabin has always been a sanctuary for me to escape from it all. While I do not consider myself a “tree-hugger”, my adventurous spirit yearns to harmonize with nature. Because the sublime nature of the wild can evaporate reality and rekindle faith. This…I believe.
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